Maritime blitz reveals lifejacket use remains an issue on NSW waterways

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A RECENT statewide waterway safety blitz, Operation Afloat and Alert, resulted in 57 fines for boaters and jetski riders found to be breaking NSW boating law.

NSW Maritime executive director Mark Hutchings said the good news is the majority boaters – more than 80 per cent – showed they understood and follow the rules which exist to keep everyone safe on NSW waterways.

“The top three types of fines issued were for not maintaining or carrying the required number of lifejackets, not wearing lifejackets and operating an unregistered vessel,” Hutchings said.

NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers carried out the statewide compliance blitz with a focus on reducing the number of serious incidents on our waterways.

Hutchings said since COVID-19 restrictions last year there has been a significant increase in the number of boaters and boating licences. There has been a 60 per cent increase in new boat licences issued in the eight months to March 2021 compared to the same period the previous year.

“There has also been an increase in reported boating incidents - 337 this year compared to 227 during the same time last year,” Hutchings said.

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